United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON PLAINTIFF'S
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: April 20, 2018 This matter has been referred to United
States Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR
4(a)(4), and as authorized by Mathews, Secretary of
H.E.W. v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 271-72 (1976). This
matter has been fully briefed (see Dkt. 13, 14, 15).
considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes
that the ALJ never resolved conflicts between the testimony
of the vocational expert regarding if there is any work that
plaintiff can perform given plaintiff's residual
functional capacity and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles
on that same issue. It appears that had the ALJ adopted a
different set of limitations for plaintiff, that is, those
that paralleled a different hypothetical presented to the VE
at the hearing testimony, the conflict would have been
resolved. However, such is not the case.
this matter should be reversed and remanded to the
Administration for further proceedings consistent with this
Report and Recommendation.
REBEKA ANN JACKSON, was born in 1972 and was 37 years old on
the alleged date of disability onset of July 1, 2009
(see AR. 151-56). Plaintiff has work history in
dairy servicing with her former husband. AR. 177-80.
Plaintiff started training as a self-reliance specialist, but
was unable to keep the job. AR. 42-43.
to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of
“Degenerative disc disease, obesity, depression, and
posttraumatic stress disorder (20 CFR 416.920(c)).” AR.
time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in her mother's
house. AR. 41.
application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1382(a) (Title XVI) of the Social Security Act was denied
initially and following reconsideration (see AR.
66-77, 79-93). Plaintiff's requested hearing was held
before Administrative Law Judge Vadim Mozyrsky (“the
ALJ”) on December 11, 2015 (see AR. 37-64). On
February 2, 2016, the ALJ issued a written decision in which
the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to
the Social Security Act (see AR. 17-36).
8, 2017, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request
for review, making the written decision by the ALJ the final
agency decision subject to judicial review (AR. 1-6).
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981. Plaintiff filed a
complaint in this Court seeking judicial review of the
ALJ's written decision in August, 2017 (see Dkt.
3). Defendant filed the sealed administrative record
regarding this matter (“AR.”) on October 16, 2017
(see Dkt. 8).
plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following
issue: Whether the ALJ's failure to reconcile apparent
conflicts between the vocational expert's testimony and
the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and
Selected Characteristics of Occupations defined in the
Revised Dictionary of Occupational Titles was improper
(see Dkt. 13, p. 1).
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court may set aside the
Commissioner's denial of social security benefits if the
ALJ's findings are based on legal error or not supported
by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Bayliss
v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 ...